post is dedicated to all of the wonderful authors who contacted me over
the last few months with horror stories about so-called marketing "experts."
t seems everyone today thinks they are an expert at social media marketing. In the last six months, there has been an explosion of "experts" starting blogs and Web sites tempting authors to spend money on their so-called services.
Unfortunately, most of what they have to say is bunk. While they seem to speak with authority, their "advice" is nothing more than a rambling snake oil sales pitch designed to tap you for your precious hard-earned dollars. These are people with zero experience in marketing and PR, except for starting their own blog and nabbing two followers, or writing several online articles to make themselves look like an expert in Google rankings.
Time and again I have tried to weigh in on virtual conversations where a so-called "expert" has offered really bad advice to people who don't know any better. It is not their fault. They are learning, and don't understand that a marketing expert needs more than just a Blogger account to know how to craft a strategic online plan to garner sales.
Unfortunately, the voices of these self-appointed experts are growing. Loudly. It is difficult to gain footing when they are able to railroad virtual conversations through bully tactics or seductive sales pitches that woo even the most mindful author.
When you need to hire someone to fix your roof, you don't just call up a company and make an appointment. (At least, I hope you don't.) You call friends and family for recommendations, you then vet companies based on Better Business Bureau and Attorney General complaints. Then, you pray to get an appointment quickly with the right company.
The same goes for getting advice for author marketing.
Don't be impressed with someone who starts their own free online group, or has a blog with a nice design. Don't think that someone with a drill sergeant mentality really knows what they are talking about. Check their credentials. Be sure they have some marketing experience. Get references when you can. Ask around about their reputation.
Most importantly, follow your gut. If something doesn't feel right, then GET OUT. Don't sign on the dotted line. Don't pay out cash. Just get away – as far and as fast as you can.0